Home Logon FTA Investment Managers Blog Subscribe About Us Contact Us

Search by Ticker, Keyword or CUSIP       

Blog Home
   Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
   Bob Stein
Deputy Chief Economist
X •  LinkedIn
  Retail Sales Rose 0.3% in January
Posted Under: Data Watch • Retail Sales
Supporting Image for Blog Post


Implications:   A respectable report on the US consumer.  Retail sales grew 0.3% in January and are up a solid 4.4% from a year ago.  The gain was widespread, as sales rose in nine of thirteen major categories.  Restaurants & bars, along with building materials, led the way rising 1.2% and 2.1% in January, respectively.  Building materials grew by the most since August of last year, partly due to the unusually mild January weather. This milder weather most likely affected sales at clothing and accessory stores, as well, holding down this category.  Less need to buy winter apparel when temperatures are higher than usual.  There should be no doubt the consumer is doing well.  "Core" sales, which exclude autos, building materials, and gas stations (the most volatile sectors) grew 0.2% in January, and are up 3.8% from a year ago.  Jobs and wages are moving up, companies and consumers continue to benefit from tax cuts, consumer balance sheets look healthy, and serious (90+ day) debt delinquencies are down substantially from post-recession highs.  For these reasons, expect continued solid gains in retail sales in the year ahead.  In inflation news today, import prices were unchanged in January, as falling fuel prices offset increasing prices for nonfuel imports.  Meanwhile, export prices rose 0.7%, with rising prices for both agricultural and nonagricultural exports contributing to the overall increase.  In the past year, import prices are up 0.3%, while export prices are up 0.5%.  Given loose monetary policy, expect higher inflation by later this year.

Click here for PDF version

Posted on Friday, February 14, 2020 @ 11:19 AM • Post Link Print this post Printer Friendly

These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
The information presented is not intended to constitute an investment recommendation for, or advice to, any specific person. By providing this information, First Trust is not undertaking to give advice in any fiduciary capacity within the meaning of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or any other regulatory framework. Financial professionals are responsible for evaluating investment risks independently and for exercising independent judgment in determining whether investments are appropriate for their clients.
Follow First Trust:  
First Trust Portfolios L.P.  Member SIPC and FINRA. (Form CRS)   •  First Trust Advisors L.P. (Form CRS)
Home |  Important Legal Information |  Privacy Policy |  California Privacy Policy |  Business Continuity Plan |  FINRA BrokerCheck
Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved.